Picking suitable contractors to work on your home after a natural disaster or state of emergency can be pretty tricky. Your house may need repairs and urgent fixes, but overloaded contractors are not quick to respond. Added opportunities may even lead to dishonest dealings and improper work.
Knowing your rights, having reasonable expectations, and following some essential tips to make working with a contractor super smooth is important. Some states even have regulations to protect homeowners, and knowing about these can help you understand and stand for your rights further.
If you wish to hire contractors for your own company or are looking for a suitable job where you can help homeowners out, we suggest taking a look at jobs at Lensa Inc. However, if you are a homeowner looking forward to repairing your home, this is the guide for you.
Obtain Several Bids
Getting several bids will ensure you can make the most suitable choice. The research into looking for several contractors enlightens you further about each of their services. During a season-high, most contractors will receive dozens of calls each day. Your call may not be answered immediately, but trustworthy contractors will always get back to you as soon as possible.
If you have already picked the best bid, you can easily withdraw the rest within three days. You may need to send an application in written form for this. In severe emergencies or natural disasters, rescission may extend to seven days. Once your rescission is approved, you will get your deposit money back and can take things forward with the contractor of your choice.
Check for Contractor License
According to the law, a contractor must have a proper license to work on homes or properties. You may have to input more than 500 dollars for a single repair, so ignoring this is not a good idea. Make sure to check for the following things when looking into your contractor’s licensing number:
- The license must be active
- The license must be valid and not expired
- The name on the license should match the contractor’s name or the name of their firm
- Licenses also show if a company provides compensation insurance for workers
Home Improvement Contract
A proper home improvement contract with all details, agreements, and proper rights is a must before any work is started. For more expensive repairs, the contract should have multiple pages, should be in the correct language (including local language), and must not miss any critical points. Details that a contract must have include:
- Material type, grade, usage, and cost
- Brand names for products
- Warranty period: Most labor warranties last for a year. Some other products may have a lifetime or more extended warranty so make sure that is all written down in the agreement
- Starting and ending dates: During a busy season, some contractors may be overloaded. Having a proper timeline will ensure your repairs are made in due time
- Deposit amount: This should not be more than 10% of the money for total repair costs
- Total cost
Payment and Insurance
Only pay the deposit amount before the work is started. No other amount should be paid until after work is fully complete. You can also withhold payment if specific requirements have not been met. It is wise to make a list to communicate your concerns to your contractor. Holding a certain amount of money to fix your issues is also acceptable.
Make sure the workers are backed up by compensation insurance. They will carry these documents with them when they visit your property. This ensures there will be no complications if they get injured while working on your property.
Hiring a contractor may seem easy but requires a lot of depth, sound research, and proper documentation. Knowing your rights, having proper timelines, and ensuring the workers are backed up by insurance can make the process smoother.
Repairs cost a reasonable sum, and no one wants their money to go to waste. Ensure you follow the tips above before hiring a contractor for repairs after hazards such as a storm or flood.